With the sun still low in the sky, the United States Supreme Court announced its ruling on the much debated Affordable Care Act. In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled that the majority of the bill would be upheld as it is currently written. Writing the opinion of the Court, Chief Justice Roberts cited the power of Congress, outlined in the Constitution, to levy taxes and subsequently enforce a penalty for refusal to do so. In essence the “mandate” as it has been deemed, was upheld by the Court as were the numerous other provisions dealing with pre-existing conditions and children remaining on their parents insurance into their late twenties.

The Expansion of Medicaid

The largest foreseeable impact on marketing for insurance companies across the United States comes in the opportunity to target those individuals who have not previously carried health insurance, but who now are mandated to do so unless they opt to pay the tax penalty.

The Marketing Impact

To initiate marketing activity capable of capturing this new customer segment, health insurance marketers will likely need to follow these steps:

  1. Identify

    Identify what makes this target audience tick and what commonalities exist among this population. Determining whether there is consistency in the age demographic, average income, lifestyle, gender, etc. will be crucial in segmenting and developing ideal selling propositions.

  2. Develop

    Developing plans that cater to the individuals who make up this target audience and then assigning rates to those plans will be integral in acquiring a portion of this market.

  3. Channels

    Defining the ideal channels will be crucial. Marketers must ask themselves what channels this audience will respond to best and through which are they likely to take action.

  4. Message

    Narrowly tailored messaging that speaks to the pain points of this target audience will be incredibly important. It’s likely that your competitors will pursue this audience which means you need to identify ways to differentiate your messaging amidst a competitive landscape characterized by price and policy parity.

  5. Test And Measure

    Even the perfect message conveyed through the most ideal channel gets stale after a while. Therefore, insurance marketers must be vigilant in their approach to testing and measuring to ensure they are making decisions that will provide sustainable improvements over time.

These five steps, coupled with a thorough understanding of the Supreme Court’s ruling, will arm health insurance marketing executives with a high-level roadmap to be successful in earning measurable returns in this changing environment.

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